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Summer School: Clean Water


June 23, 2011


Washington, DC

Each summer the ELI Summer School convenes a complimentary seminar series that serves as an introduction to the legal and policy foundations of environmental protection in the United States. The weekly brown-bag lunch seminars are taught by experts in their fields, and introduce the audience to the major environmental statutes (including NEPA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, TSCA, RCRA and CERCLA) and land use law. The series ends with an afternoon careers seminar followed by a networking reception.

Who should attend: Summer associates, law clerks and interns, as well as attorneys or working professionals seeking an introduction to environmental law and policy.

Clean Water

This seminar focused on the Clean Water Act, the events that led to its enactment, and legal disputes that have influenced its enforcement. The speakers discussed the regulatory and permitting framework for limiting water pollution and the important distinction between point sources and nonpoint sources. Although "water" is a straightforward concept, two recent Supreme Court decisions have created enormous confusion surrounding the question of what types of water bodies are subject to federal regulation. The seminar also discussed the distinctions between the regulation of water quality versus water quantity, and the considerations that policymakers face in light of growing demands for clean water in the context of energy needs and climate change.

Summer School: Session 3, from Environmental Law Institute on Vimeo.

Alexandra Dunn, Executive Director & General Counsel, Association of State & Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators (ASIWPCA)
Erin Flannery, Federal government water attorney

Dunn/Flannery Powerpoint presentation
mp3 recording


The ELI Summer School series was made possible by the generous support of our members.